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How to Choose Bloggers to Work With on Projects

On a recent post a reader (Mindful Entrepreneur (Jason)) asked:

“I know you talk a lot about being ‘relational’. I’m wondering if you can offer some specific suggestions for upcoming information marketers and/or bloggers to that end.

What are some strategies that worked for you? How were you able to identify potential partnerships quickly? What was your best approach in these situations?”

Thanks Jason – Let me tackle each part one at a time.

What are some strategies that worked for you? – in terms of being ‘relational’ and finding potential partnerships – perhaps the best tip I can give you is to think carefully about the way in which you write.

My personal approach is to write in a style that both builds a perception of expertise (ie people will only want to partner with you if they believe you know what you’re talking about) but which is also relational, humble and accessible (ie people won’t want to work with you if you come across as a know it all, arrogant ‘git’).

Get this blend between expertise and approachability right and you’ll find people will want to connect with you (both normal readers and potential partners). Of course this is just my own personal style and I’m sure other styles will worth for others – but I know when I’m looking for someone to partner with that this is the type of person I look for.

How were you able to identify potential partnerships quickly? – actually I’m not sure it was a quick process. I’d been blogging for a couple of years before I first started working in a more formal partnership with another blogger.

My style in connecting with others to work with is generally pretty slow. There have been one or two snap decisions but I think if you talk to most of those that I’ve ended up working with that I’ve actually taken my time (annoyingly so probably for the others) because I want to ‘know’ the other person as much as possible before entering into any agreement with them – particularly because in each situation I had never met the other before in ‘real life’.
What was your best approach in these situations? – Here’s some of the questions that I’d recommend people ask when thinking about potential partnerships:

  1. How long have they been blogging? – sometimes seeing that another person’s stuck at blogging for a while can be an indication as to whether they have stickability
  2. What have they done before? How has it gone? – past records can tell you a lot
  3. Are they consistent? - try look at their previous work – are they just on their best behavior at present or are you seeing their true colors?
  4. Do they follow through on what they say that they’ll do? – reliability is key
  5. What do others say about them? – do a little digging around – what do others think about them? Check their references
  6. What are their skills? – do they compliment yours?
  7. Do they have time? - many people just don’t have the time to take on new projects (and you’ll end up doing all the work if they are too busy)
  8. Do you have a relationship with them already? – I don’t enter into big partnerships these days unless I’ve already done smaller ones with people
  9. Do you know others who know them? - sometimes this can help – it keeps everyone more accountable
  10. What does your Gut say? – I’m a pretty intuitive sort of guy so my ‘gut’ helps me a lot

I’m not sure if I’ve really answered your questions Jason – but I hope something in this is helpful.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I’ve always thought of your “tone” as very insightful, cordial, and easy to grasp. This kind of versatility has truly made you a highly respectable authority in the blogosphere, and I salute you for it.

  2. Good tips Darren and very timely for me. I’m considering getting into a joint venture with some other bloggers here in the States and we’ve talked to each other about some of those same things.

    Another thing we’ve found to be helpful in our preliminary steps to see if we want to move forward is that we’ve had a conference call so that, relationally, we can hear the voice behind the blog and brainstorm verbally since we haven’t met each other physically.

    If your readers want to try this technique for future investigations into working with other bloggers we used Freeconference.com’s software at http://www.freeconference.com in order to talk to each other.

    Thanks again and hope this helps.

  3. hackaback says:

    I wish I could work with you. But I’m too much of a newbie to work with an established blogger like you. So that’s the rejection for me at the first point itself

  4. Billy Mac says:

    It’s amazing to watch how the blog world has grown to what it is today. Five or Ten Years ago it was unheard of to be able to have these opportunities and I am always amazed to see the passion so many people have for blogging and how creative their blogs have become. Being able to share your knowledge or passions with the world is fantastic, be it alone or in a joint venture, it’s what the “blogosphere” is all about.

  5. SusieJ says:

    I also look at the comments section on their blog — you can see a different side of a blogger by looking at the kind of rapport they’ve built with their readers.

  6. Matt Jones says:

    Interesting, I have been looking for guest bloggers but they are hard to find. However, with the Page Rank update I’m sure people would like my free PR4 links ;)

  7. Ryan says:

    Good article. I’ve recently been examining my own writing style and decided that I need to alter it a bit to make it more appealing to a broader audience. You’ve given me some things to think about.

  8. Darren,

    Thanks for the great post-reply! You definitely did answer my questions – and then some!

    I am particularly struck by your emphasis on writing style as a means for building relationships. Great point!

    -Jason

  9. Luciano says:

    Nice article and suggestions..something to think about..thanks!

    Visit my Blog I would appreciate sugestions….Grazie! Ciao.

  10. Brian Auer says:

    Good advice on being relational — be an expert without being a know-it-all. I’d say the other part of that is to talk to your readers, not at them. People don’t want to be lectured — they can go to school for that.

    Also, Jason, your blog is really great. I only found it the other week, but I’m hooked from here out.

  11. I feel that a huge part of personal writing styles relate to face-to-face interaction. How you are with people on the dining table or in the streets would somehow translate in what you write. Although a person can completely be out of character when writing, you still sense a little bit of the author’s true self in their work.

  12. Referrals by credible and trustworthy sources seem like a good way to go. Of course you can’t completely rely on other people’s testimonials, but at least you are aware of their potential.